It was the Lapsang Souchong, I swear.  Or, let’s try:  I confess; it was the Lapsang Souchong.

I was looking for some Lapsang Souchong for my daughter-in-law, Sue, who is not only brilliant and beautiful, she is the mother of the cutest, smartest, and funniest granddaughter the world has ever known.  Back to the Lapsang . . . my favorite tea purveyor does not offer this pine-smoked tea.  Apparently, you either love it or you hate it.  Sue loves it, and her birthday was coming up.   I wanted to get her some of her favorite tea, so I went online.

Sure enough, I found it.  Sold by one of those tea companies with a cute name, combining tea with Hindu heaven, and a website designed to plunge a person suffering from ADD into a hell described by Dante . . . I was stoked.  Two ounces of smoked leaves could be shipped to me for $7.00.  Ouch!  So, I added two more ounces, and the shipping cost did not rise.  Ah, ha!  Sue can enjoy twice as much tea for less money per cup – and I became the online retailer’s dream shopper.  A pop-up (another ADD assault) offered me a cutesy little tin to store the tea, but the shipping remained stable at $7.00.  Hooray!  Four ounces of tea and a fancy tin and I am SAVING money with everything I add to this order!  Look, there are cups for sale.  Beautiful cups.  My favorite tea purveyor (with a clever name that makes a pun out of the oriental equivalent of tarot cards) offered cups more beautiful, but they weren’t on sale, and . . . there was the Lapsang problem.  I ordered the whole shebang: tea, tin, and pretty mug/glass.  Shipping was still $7.00.  I am one smart shopper, folks.

I received the e-mail confirmation, and sat down to wait.  Sue’s birthday was in just two weeks, but she gets her mail the old-fashioned way.  At a post office.  So, I wanted enough time to have the package shipped to me via UPS, and I would mail it through the good old postal service.  Sure enough, the package came a week later.  The mug was, indeed, lovely.  The tin, attractive as all get out.  The tea? There was no tea. It was “backorder/cancelled.”

What is the point, dear reader, of a tea tin and a mug – no matter how lovely – if there is no TEA?

Suddenly, the cutesy-named tea company became synonymous with caca de vaca.  I called them, and whined pathetically. The e-mail confirmation I received – and the shipping notice – never mentioned that the tea would be kaput.  The service representative I spoke to promised to send the tea ASAP – and they wouldn’t charge me any shipping! But, the date of Sue’s birthday would be passed by the time I received it.

Long story short:  the tea arrived today and I am off to put the package in the mail as soon as I finish this.  Sue will be happy, even though it is late, to have her favorite tea and some beautiful accessories.

It was the Lapsang Souchong that made me forget where my tea-buying loyalties lie, honest.